Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Human Sciences and Education

Document Type



This research explored teacher and principal perceptions of trust and communication in the teacher-principal relationship. Through in-depth interviews, research participants provided perceived characteristics needed for effective teachers, principals, and teacher-principal relationships, and pointed out characteristics detrimental to the effectiveness of the teacher-principal relationship. The research utilized past research in organizational communication, trust, and trust and communication within the teacher-principal relationship and other important components of effective teacher-principal relationships to provide a literary foundation for the study. The research identified perceptions of teachers and principals with respect to communication and trust in the teacher-principal relationship, and identified what priorities successful first-year principals need to cultivate for effective relationships with their faculty.

Participants were comprised of teachers and principals from two elementary schools in southern Louisiana. Participants articulated their perspectives and shared experiences working with effective and ineffective principals. The experiences and perspectives of the research participants demonstrated the paralysis of functionality in the teacher-principal relationship caused by distrustful and non-communicative relationships. The research findings provide concrete evidence for the importance of establishing an effective teacher-principal relationship built on trust and communication. The eight participants shared the view that communication was a necessity for an effective teacher-principal relationship. Most of the participants also thought that trust needs to be present for successful teacher-principal relationships. The research findings revealed the participants had similar views of an effective teacher-principal relationship and the necessary characteristics of an effective principal and teacher.



Committee Chair

Fasching-Varner, Kenneth